Tensegritoy is a construction system based on Buckminster Fuller's ideas of tensegrity, the use of "tensional integrity" in structures--in other words, structures where the shape and strength arise through the combined action of many parts in tension, rather than local compression.

The Tensegritoy pieces consist of:

  • slotted wooden dowels -- these resist compression forces
  • elastics -- these resist tensional forces
  • caps -- to keep the elastics on the dowels

Tensegritoy structures generally look like strange polyhedrons and can be flexed once assembled.

You can make your own Tensegritoy set with straws (cut to 8") and rubber bands. To attach a rubber band to a straw, hook a small paper clip on the rubber band and insert the clip in the end of the straw. As long as the rubber band is in tension back along the straw it won't fall out. (See http://www.georgehart.com/virtual-polyhedra/straw-tensegrity.html for detailed instructions)